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Larsson feels ready, Brodeur to start Friday

Thursday, 02.23.2012 / 2:54 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Larsson feels ready, Brodeur to start Friday



 
Adam Larsson hopes to be in the lineup Friday when the Devils face another tough test against the Vancouver Canucks.

Larsson has been sidelined with a bruised lower back since Feb. 2, when he took a hard hit from Montreal's P.K. Subban. Excited to be back with the team, Larsson was paired with Bryce Salvador at Thursday's practice.

"Today it feels great," Larsson said. "I've been skating now for four days, and it feels pretty good now the last three days. I'm very glad to be back now."

The rookie's recovery took longer than he'd expected.

"It didn't heal the way I thought it would, so it was pretty frustrating," he said. "It took a long time. Now, the last week has been better every day, so I'm glad."

Larsson thought his collision with the boards did more damage than the hit itself.

"I knew he was a great hitter, but I didn't know he was that good," Larsson said. "I saw him and I knew he was there, but he was so fast I couldn't really move from there."

He added: "There's no hard feelings or anything. It was a good hit. If I could've done that, I would've."

Despite missing the last nine games, Larsson still leads Devils defensemen with 16 points (2g-14a). His return would strengthen a blue line that has had to overcome key injuries all season.

"We're getting some bodies back and we're going to have some tough decisions to make," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "That's the spot you want to be in."

Like Larsson, Ryan Carter (hand) has also missed nine games and returned to practice on Thursday. He skated at left wing on a line with Jacob Josefson and Nick Palmieri.

Defenseman Kurtis Foster (upper body) has missed the last two contests, but reported feeling better after practice.

"We're going to meet with the trainers after they get their treatments and see how everybody feels and make some decisions tonight," DeBoer said.

The red-hot Devils (35-20-4, 74 pts.) have won four in a row and nine of their last 11. The Canucks (38-16-6, 82 pts.) are 7-1-2 in their last 10 and are second in points to League-leading Detroit.

Vancouver was set to visit the Red Wings in Detroit on Thursday. The Wings entered the meeting having won an NHL-record 23 straight on home ice.

Martin Brodeur will start Friday to open a tough stretch of three games in four days. Tampa Bay visits on Sunday; the Devils head to MSG to face the Rangers on Monday.

"For sure, this is a great test for us this weekend," DeBoer said. "You've got Vancouver and the Rangers – two of the top three teams in the League coming up – and Tampa sandwiched in between, which has been one of the hotter teams in the League." 

Since the All-Star break, the Devils have fared well in games billed as measuring sticks. They've topped the Rangers twice, and posted wins against hot clubs like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Anaheim.

"You're always wary," DeBoer said. "We haven't seen a team like Vancouver in a long time. This team is four lines deep, six defensemen deep, some of the best goaltending in the League. They can make you pay in a lot of different ways. It's going to be real interesting in how we handle that."

Thursday's lines:
Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk
Sykora-Elias-Clarkson
Ponikarovsky-Zubrus-Bernier
Carter-Josefson-Palmieri

Salvador-Larsson
Volchenkov-Fayne
Greene-Fayne
Taormina, Harrold

Brodeur
Hedberg


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 56 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 54 19 18 14 37
K. Palmieri 56 20 16 3 36
T. Zajac 48 8 19 7 27
D. Schlemko 48 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 56 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 52 1 12 -1 13
J. Blandisi 17 4 7 -1 11
J. Josefson 45 3 8 -14 11
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 25 16 6 .931 1.98
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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